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Literature Review on the Impact of the Menopausal Transition on Measures of Arterial Stiffness

Fort, Annamaria (2023) Literature Review on the Impact of the Menopausal Transition on Measures of Arterial Stiffness. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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There are sex-specific differences in cardiovascular diseases that disproportionately older women will face in terms of mortality compared to men such as heart failure and stroke. However, there are gaps in knowledge about pathophysiological sex-related mechanisms of these diseases as well as sex differences in their clinical presentation and treatment which contributes to clinical barriers that women face. A powerful tool in predicting cardiovascular disease outcomes and evaluating contributing factors is the assessment of arterial stiffness. While men have stiffer arteries compared to women, after midlife there is an acceleration of arterial stiffness in women. Menopause has been extensively researched for its effects on the acceleration of arterial stiffness after midlife in women. However, it is difficult to differentiate the effects of menopause on arterial stiffness due to ovarian or chronological aging. To improve the clinical application of research for older women, it is important to understand and synthesize the existing body of literature on the menopausal transition and its effects on related measures of arterial stiffness. A critical literature review was performed using PubMed in March 2023 and yielded 19 papers that focused on menopausal status, menopausal hormone therapy, and measures of arterial stiffness that were defined as direct, indirect, or related to the outcome of interest. Eight papers found a more consistent positive association with menopausal status across indirect and related measures of arterial stiffness and mixed results for direct measures. Six papers used sex hormones to represent menopausal status and found some mixed results of effect, but overall, no significant effect on measures of arterial stiffness. Nine papers looked at menopausal hormone therapy, and menopausal status found mixed results on its impact across measures of arterial stiffness. These limited findings support the theory of menopause augmenting the age-related acceleration of arterial stiffness in older women. Given the inconsistency of results, studies are needed to better understand the impacts of menopause on arterial stiffness. The public health significance of understanding the impacts of the menopausal transition on arterial stiffness could lead to more effective and sex-specific interventions to lower cardiovascular health outcomes disparities that women face.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fort, Annamariaanf130@pitt.eduanf130
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSekikawa, Akiraakira@pitt.eduakiraUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBarinas-Mitchell, Emma J.barinas@edc.pitt.edubarinasUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberWu, Minjiemiw75@pitt.edumiw75UNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 May 2023
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 11 May 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 83
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: menopause, women, arterial stiffness
Date Deposited: 17 May 2023 14:52
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 14:52


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